Fleener: Players More Aware Of Damage Being Done

Coby Fleener discussed his work with SyncThink, as well as the psychology of the modern NFL player

The DA Show
September 21, 2018 - 11:23 am

USA Today Images


You may know Coby Fleener as an NFL tight end – he spent four seasons with the Colts and two with the Saints – but he is also a member of SyncThink’s Athlete Advisory Board. SyncThink has developed a product – EYE-SYNC – that assesses brain trauma in 60 seconds.
Fleener dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Friday to discuss his work with SyncThink, as well as the psychology of the modern NFL player. Specifically, are players more worried about brain trauma because we know what we know, or are they less worried about it because, well, we know what we know – and because so many precautions have been taken?

“I think it goes both ways,” Fleener said on The DA Show. “I think that you’re viewing it correctly: I think guys are more aware of the damage that’s being done, and I think that we’re consistently and constantly learning more information about brain trauma and its long-term effects. I think SyncThink as a company is one of many that are trying to glean more information for the athletes and the medical professionals in sports.”

DA wondered if the medical community is close to developing a CTE test for the living. As of now, the disease can only be diagnosed posthumously.

“That’s – I was going to say the million-dollar question, but that might be a billion-dollar question,” Fleener said. “There’s so much involved that goes into that. I could not even take a guess. I’m not familiar enough with the research on where we are with that regarding the bio-markers that could let us know when someone has CTE.”

Some NFL players would absolutely take a CTE test, if possible, while others would shy away from it – likely out of fear. Fleener, 30, doesn’t know where he stands on that.

“If there is a pre-cancer test or a pre-Alzheimer's test, these are diseases that will impact your life in a (large) way,” Fleener said. “It would take a lot of thought for me to answer that question and be comfortable with my answer – and I don’t know the answer to it, honestly.”